One of Japan’s major general trading firms, ITOCHU Corporation (ITOCHU), recently announced an MOU with one of Australia’s largest clean hydrogen projects, Australian Future Energy (AFE).

Gladstone Energy and Ammonia Project (GEAP), the nation’s largest and most advanced clean hydrogen production project, is approaching FEED design of the commercial production of low carbon energy alternatives as soon as 2024. Gladstone has been widely praised as the “pivot point” for the domestic hydrogen industry, and a validation of AFE’s much anticipated project.

ITOCHU will study the investment opportunity in AFE. The money will be used by AFE to assist with part of the FEED and associated research in relation to the feasibility study of the proposed GEAP;

Integrated GEAP facility will utilize proven gasification technique to produce ammonia, synthetic natural gas, and ultimately electrical power, crucial for Australia’s burgeoning clean energy industry. Blue Hydrogen strikes a balance between traditional hydrogen generation and pure green hydrogen processes, yet it provides clean hydrogen and ammonia at scale and reliability.

Ammonia is the most efficient and effective way to carry hydrogen. Co-firing in power stations to reduce emissions is increasingly employed as a fuel for large transport trucks.

GEAP had projected to produce roughly 230,000 tonnes per year (tpa) of ammonia and 14 PJ of pipeline quality gas, which translates to 91,000 tpa of hydrogen. All of the plant’s carbon dioxide output, which will be treated and captured, will be for sale for food production and advanced manufacturing projects. Ammonia manufacturing is being added to the GEAP as well.

The GEAP proposes the first of its kind in Queensland, and one of only a handful in the globe. There are anticipated to be as many as 200 direct jobs and 1,280 indirect jobs in Gladstone over the 30-year operational phase. Additional, around 1,000 employment will be created throughout the construction phase. The GEAP is deemed significant to the state of Queensland.

Nedim Husomanovic

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